Archive | January, 2015

He Must Increase

24 Jan

He Must Increase

He Must Increase

What does it mean by having God increase in our lives? Earlier this year, I stumbled upon a verse that I felt that God wants me to put forth this year in John 3:30. But what exactly does this verse means?

Over the years, many people understood that in order to be successful, people have to be persistent, ambitious, hardworking, and sometimes even sacrificing things that we love in order to attain our goals. There are a lot of self-help books that supposedly will provide insight on how you achieve these goals.

Slowly but sure these self-help books began to encroach to the Christian community as well. Don’t believe me? Simply go to any Christian bookstore and find how many are about God, and how many are about you (and your wealth, I presume). You are of course free to read those books, and they might actually be good anyways. But how are you supposed to have more of Him if what you are reading is about you?

That is why this year, I want to start learning more to have God increase in our lives, and let our ambitions, goals, desires decrease. Where do we start?

Trusting and Relying on Him More

Trust and reliance goes hand in hand. It is impossible to rely on someone if you do not trust that person. I trust my wife completely, that I can be certain that she would not try to harm me, and as a result I can rely on her preparing our food. She trusts me as well, that she can be certain that everything that I do as a head of the family is never going to cause harm to us.

In the same manner, trusting God means that we believe that for sure God will not bring harm to us, no matter what you are going through. When we trust God completely, then we will be able to rely on Him. One of my favourite verses is Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV), which says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.

My grandmother (whose birthday is today, by the way) told me that verse years ago, and it has been in my mind ever since. That verse shows that when we start trusting, and relying on God, He Himself will ensure that the paths that we take will be straight. Amazing isn’t it? All we need to do is to trust and rely on Him more.

Consult (Pray to) Him More

One of the most underestimated privilege that we, as children of God have, is our ability to consult to God through prayer. Often times, I admit, I don’t pray and consult God. Sometimes it is because I think I had it all figured out. Other times, I might be too busy to consult, or too consumed in the issue that I simply forgot to pray.

But God wants us to pray, to speak to Him about our issues and problems. It’s not that He didn’t know, He simply prefers to hear we speak to Him. In Psalm 145:18 it is written that “The Lord is near to all who call Him, to all who call Him in truth.” When we pray and consult to Him, we will be strengthened, encouraged, and often times, at peace. Pray continually and seek His wisdom.

Listen to Him More

Of course, one of the consequences if we start consulting or praying to God, is that sometimes the answer that we hear is not the answer that we want to hear. A lot of us (me included) sometimes are stubborn enough that we stick to what we want instead of what God wants, and sometimes for what we think are good reasons.

Maybe the way God wants it took longer, and the way we want it is more efficient. Maybe God doesn’t realise that this is a golden opportunity. Maybe this, maybe that, and a lot of maybes that we finally decide to use those maybes as justification to not listen to what God had said. Or maybe we’re just afraid we’d lose everything if we go with His ways.

When I was thinking and planning to marry my wife, I prayed to God and asked for my parents approval. God’s answer was wait, and so was my parents. However being the stubborn person that I am, I kept insisting but to no avail. Finally I surrendered and listened to God, and it took a year of humbling myself before I was finally able to have a yes from both God and my parents.

Psalm 37:4 (NIV) said “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Listen to what God has to say, and do what He wants you to do. And He will ultimately give more than you ever wanted.

God doesn’t answer your prayer with the things that you want, but He is certain to answer it with the things that you need. The question is, will you listen to Him?

Those are the three things that I want to do this year, to be able to trust and rely on Him more, pray to Him more, and listen to Him more. I’m sure it will be a challenging and difficult journey, but with God, that journey will be a rewarding one.

Stay blessed.

Welcoming 2015

4 Jan

Welcoming It seems like it was yesterday when we started 2014, and suddenly a whole year has passed. In the past year, there were a lot of things that happen to both me and my wife in all areas of our lives, and as always, I am very grateful of what God has done in our lives.

We started off 2014 very refreshed, as we went back to Indonesia for holidays. My wife started her study on Children Services, something that she is very passionate with, and new responsibilities for me in my workplace. We continue serving in our local church, and keep growing in our journey with Christ. In the middle of the year, again, we went to Hillsong Conference along with some of the young adults in our church (which we call “kids”), and we continued the year with new revelations.

We started off a new ministry in the church, Youth Fellowship to reach out young adults in our church and to connect to them, as God had put it in my heart since 2013 to start reaching out for them. As with every new ministry, there are some challenges, however I believe God wants to do more great things with these kids. We (unintentionally) became their mentor, and I am very grateful that several of the kids started opening up to us.

I also enrolled in a Bible college to study about the Word of God, and to better equip and prepare myself for the next step of the plan that God has in store for us. I admit, studying theology is far more difficult than what I’d expected, but thank God I was able to finish off my first semester! I didn’t expect it would be harder than learning programming, to be honest.

Perhaps one of the highlights of the year was when we found out that my wife is expecting, and it changed the way we view ourselves (and particularly how I viewed myself), as now we have something even more precious that God has trusted in our care, even though it is still a while before the baby is due. It took us a while to realise, but we can see that God is working in every single thing and always has your best interest in mind.

In 2013, I closed off the year and opened 2014 with a commitment to serve the Lord more, and throughout the whole year I can see it came true. Looking back, however, I feel like I could (and should) have rely and trust in Him more. This year, in 2015, I want to start off with a new verse, one that resonates clearly in my heart, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30, NASB). This year, I hope that God will continue to use me (and my family) as a vessel to show His love to the people around us, through lessons of meekness, humility and obedience. And this is our commitment in 2015.

Stay blessed.